Hacking the Writer’s Life by Janine Donoho

Primitive RoadNo one who knows me would accuse me of being a computer hacker. While the scope of digital life offered by computer, GPS, and yes, the Samsung devices beloved of Intrepid Guy, offer benefits, I occasionally need to read manuals. Despite my ongoing lust for cool tech, a smart phone or tablet’s at least a year into my future, mostly given where we live and the coverage we don’t yet enjoy.

Yet living a writer’s life requires hacks, too. For what is hacking other than breaking a code and getting where you are most likely not invited? Allow me to share a few with you.

Life hack #1: Feeding the brain via two universities, three community colleges, and then working as a gasp! woman in male-dominated fields.

Why is any of this pertinent to a writer? You learn to finish what you start, often under less than stellar conditions.

PupsicleLife hack #2: Winter version: Yaktrax, poles, neck gaiter, and ear warmers with the equivalent layering for the Italian greyhound. This gets us moving while preventing the dreaded pupsicle syndrome.

Yes, dear writers, we need to exercise our torpid bodies. Blood flow’s necessary to our hyperactive brains.

Bleh, bleh, bleh. But what does it take to become an author?” you ask.

Cover Collection 2Life hacks #3-12: Write a bodacious novel—or a googolplex of stories—or whatever it takes to learn your craft. Here’s a glimpse of my current oeuvres. Plus there’s the forthcoming launch of Soundings, Water Elemental in February 2015.

It’s a circuitous trail into hacking a writer’s life. No shortcuts here. Luck is involved—along with learning craft, critical thinking, and long hours in the writing chair. Although another hack has been my standing desk…

So while the initial burst of creative juices might trigger that moment of ah-ha along with entire scenes, character sketches, and plot devices, as writers we hack our way to core story, into character, and through process.

And those, my friends, are the subjects of future blogs. I hope you’ll join me for them, too. Until then, I recommend a daily hack attack into your own writer’s life.Tools of my trade

A Walk on the Primitive Side by Janine M. Donoho

Primitive RoadSnow, rain, wind, extreme heat and cold, my pack and I take a hike—nearly every Gift of a Plowed Roadother day. Doing so feeds our brains and recharges our bodies. With our environment stretching from sere winter into lush spring, you’re invited to take a photo journey.

We drop about 1200 feet during a winter walk. That’s about 365 meters for those Well Groomed Pathin the know. The loss of altitude takes us from Ponderosa pine forest into sagebrush steppe. Of course, that means you climb on the return.

Where Primitive Roads MeetI’ve retired my YakTrax and the pup’s Muttluks for the year and will soon graduate from hiking boots to lighter Saucony or Asics. Once we can navigate dilapidated forestry roads dependably, we’ll begin exploring higher elevation National Forest. This continues throughout spring, summer and into fall when heavy snow sends us back to hiking within ten miles of home.

As a creative process, hiking works for me. So long as I remain aware of my surroundings. Mountain lions, coyotes, and bears—oh, my!

Do you embrace an activity that stimulates your creative juices?
Nearing home - on, on...


End of YakTraxia by Janine M. Donoho

End to YakTraxiaWhat does spring mean to you? For us the season of YakTrax draws to its annual end. The timing’s good; my Pro-Trax have sprung a few coils. The snow-laden roof will release the flying squirrel toy lost since December. Earth’s bones begin to emerge from beneath ice and our winter cave can use a good airing.

Connor racing to tall about the eagles' returnLast week a major melt began, punctuated by hail last night. Like the rest of our planet, we’re experiencing cockeyed seasons. This thaw arrives earlier than usual. Other than crafting sustainable choices on a personal level, what’s a citizen to do? I order more vegetable, fruit and flower seeds from Swallowtail Garden, then go for a hike.

Dependent upon temperament–or which leg of the ramble we’re on–our pack treads on either remaining snowpack or The boys of my packemerging soil. Both can be fraught with risk. Slush engenders a new dance step: one-step-forward, half-a-slip-back. The percussion of cascading drips from Ponderosa pines enhances our unique tempo. Meanwhile treading upon saturated moondust–yes, the yummy brown of my fave dark chocolate–gobbles an entire boot. Sucking sounds accompany language picked up while testing Naval ship systems. The boisterous aroma of fertile soils and emerging plants combines with this.

One of bald eagle pair on snagSongs of returning birds add delight. A persistent pileated woodpecker competes with local black bear on who can peck or gouge the most insect larvae from a downed pine. Later in spring the same woodpecker will perch on our metal roof at sunrise and broadcast his mating vigor–think jackhammer. Our whippet informs us that the mated pair of bald eagles has returned–Connor insists upon yelling at them. Then at dusk I hear the wicka-wicka-wicka of a Northern Flicker. Anticipation warms me.

Iggy in rotting snowNow my break’s over. Back to editing FORGED IN MIST, book 2 of MISTBORN CHRONICLES. I’m over half way there–and spring comes.

Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27, 2015
The big day is here.

Newsletter signup

Join in and receive a FREE short story as my gift to you. Exclusive promos, book deals and contests available only to subscribers.

%d bloggers like this: